Monday, August 27, 2007

What's on Tap This Week

I'm busy blogging, but not so much here!

I'll be posting at Romantic Inks today through Wednesday as my alter ego, Jackie Barbosa. And tomorrow, I'll have my regular post at the Manuscript Mavens. This week's topic will be ebook promotion--which I'm still getting a handle on!

Since I'm leaving for a family camping trip this coming Friday afternoon, I'll probably wind up skipping Friday as well, but I do expect we'll have something fun for you at the Mavens' site, so stay tuned over there!

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Getting with the Program

Warning: This post is not writing-related. Those who want crafty, witty writing advice had best hie on over to the Manuscript Mavens.

Back in the 20th century BC (Before Children, not Before Christ), I was in pretty good physical condition. In high school and on through college, grad school, and the early years of my marriage, I swam. A lot. Competitively in high school, then mostly for fun and fitness.

But AC (you got that one, right?), I pretty much fell off the wagon. Oh, I tried to get back into the habit of swimming on a regular basis, but my life just didn't seem to allow for it. I tried other forms of exercise (biking, walking, etc.), but I'll admit that I simply don't like any of those activities enough to do them religiously.

This week, however, with the kids back in school and the weather very warm, I've managed to carve out a half an hour or so to jump in the backyard pool and do some laps. And it feel fabulous. I'm still very out of shape (I managed a mere 300 yards yesterday and 400 today), but I'm hoping it doesn't take me too long to get a fair amount of my former mojo back. I used to swim 1,500-2,000 yards 3-4 days a week, but I don't expect to get up to those kind of distances in my 10-yards-per-lap pool--I'd get dizzy first. Not to mention that the unheated pool is going to get a bit too chilly to keep up swimming much past mid-October. So, I'm expecting to have to buck up for a YMCA or gym club membership so I can keep swimming through the winter, but I am determined to do it.

So, what's your program goal this week?

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Bonus Post

Darcy's already outed my good news in the comments on the post down below, but in case you haven't read them, go on over to the Manuscript Mavens and check it out!

Monday, August 20, 2007

Sending My Baby out into the World

And no, I'm not talking about my book this time, but my youngest son, who today started kindergarten.

Oddly enough, I didn't feel particularly sentimental when I sent my older two children to school for the first time. This time, I do. It's probably because I know this is the last time I'll have a child starting kindergarten. And I know this is just one more in a long string of lasts.

With my oldest, everything was (and still is) a first. Firsts are fun and exciting (and occasionally terrifying). With the middle child, all the major milestones are more like a second chance to get right what we did wrong the first time. But with the youngest, all the milestones are just last times. And lasts are...well...still exciting, but a little sad. The nostalgia sets in pretty much right away with lasts!

I suppose it's fitting, then, that this last coincides, more or less, with a first. I didn't know what to expect when it came to being published for the first time and it's been all the things a first usually is: exciting, fun, and a little terrifying. Happily, everyone who's read it so far and been thoughtful enough to post here or send me an email has apparently liked the story (yay!) and I haven't gotten any "Oh my God, this is the worst thing I ever read!" messages, so I'm feeling quite pleased. I'm sure someone will eventually find fault with it, but in the meantime, I'm enjoying the ride.

So, what do you feel more sentimental about: firsts or lasts? Have any exciting milestones, personal or professional, to report? Do tell!

Friday, August 17, 2007

Release Day Par-TAY!

It's official. Carnally Ever After is available for sale at Cobblestone Press! Just click the picture below to be redirected!

For more "insider" information about the book, check out my posts today at:

And please, enjoy!

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Better Late Than Never and...Wet Again!

Busy day today, but at last I have a few minutes to post.

First, thanks to everyone for the encouragement and suggestions of "things to do" over the past couple of days. I really appreciate them. And while I think the only one I actually took in any way was Isabel's (although I didn't watch a movie, but watched several episodes of The Closer instead--God, I love Brenda Leigh Johnson!), they were all good ones and none of them were housework, thank heavens!

But the happy thing is, I've written about 2,000 words in the past three days. I realized I was forcing a project I'm not really ready to do, and that's what was making me miserable. Setting it aside in favor of something else (even something that wasn't really talking to me beforehand) brought the voices back. So, yeah, it means I'm not going to be getting my requested partial out any time soon, but better to not send it at all then send something that isn't ready for prime time because I'm not ready to write it yet.

Those of you who are looking forward to the release of Carnally Ever After in two days (and if you are, I thank you profusely!) may be pleased to know that the project I decided to pick up is the sequel, Carnally Yours (retitled because Kelly Krysten got the title of CEA wrong in a comment once and I loved the "wrong" title for the first book far more than the original title for the second one). I'm about 4,000 words into what I think will wind up being about a 20,000 word story and having fun with it, which is the whole point to this writing thing (for me, anyway).

Finally, if you want a laugh, you need to swing by Sara Lindsey's blog and then go hang out some more at Brotherhood 2.0. OMG, those guys slay me.

P.S. Unbridled in Your Pants

Monday, August 13, 2007

Dry Spell

Rather than attempt to explain my current predicament, I'm going to ask you all for your tips and tricks. What do you do when you experience a writing dry spell?

I don't want to call it writer's block--that would imply that I want to write but can't. My problem is more global than that. I just don't feel a compelling need to write. Which, given that I've scarcely been able to keep my fingers off the keyboard for more than year is more than a little alarming.

The voices seem to have gone on vacation. What do I do with myself until they come back?

P.S. Please don't say housework!

Friday, August 10, 2007

Apologies and Shameless Promotion

I know, I know. I didn't post on Wednesday. I have a good reason, though--I had a very nasty summer cold that laid me low for a couple of days with a 100+ degree fever, aches, and chills. Who can blog in that condition? Well, maybe you can, but I can't.

Now, onto shameless promotion. Carnally Ever After will be released by Cobblestone Press next Friday. Just in case you haven't already decided to buy it, here are the top ten reasons you should:

10. No trees were harmed in the making of this book. (Seriously. To my knowledge, there's never been a printed copy of this manuscript.)
9. It has a great title.
8. It has a gorgeous cover.
7. The heroine is not a perfect size six beauty.
6. The hero wants her anyway. A lot.
5. And he's hot, too.
4. The cucumber scene.
3. The love scenes.
2. Because you know you want to.
1. Because I asked. Pretty please?

Monday, August 06, 2007

Brand New Day

And a brand new laptop!

Maybe this isn't big news to you, but it's big to me. Over the weekend, my husband and I agreed it was time to buy me my own, personal laptop.

For years, I've been doing everything on my company-issued laptop--everything from "real" work to writing to blogging to upkeep of my iPod. Over the past few months, however, the company has been tightening security policy (and for good reason, I might add!). The rules keep getting stricter, so that now, every time I even plug in a Flash drive that's not issued by the company (to say nothing of my iPod), I'm busting the security policy.

As if that weren't worrisome enough, however, I got an email last week telling me that my laptop is one of the 100 oldest computers in the company and they generously want to give me a new one. My immediate response? NOOOOOOOOOOO!

See, my computer is my brain. And not just my work brain, but my personal life brain. It's not just my manuscript files and so forth that I fear losing: it's everything from my email address book to last year's taxes to photos to... Well, you get it.

So, knowing the company was going to take away both my work brain and my personal brain in one fell swoop AND that I didn't want to keep breaking company rules just to make my life easier, it became real apparent that the time had come to get a new computer, and on Saturday, we did the deed.

I'm still in the process of moving stuff from the old work laptop to this one, and some things don't seem to want to come over (if anyone has a brilliant suggestion for making the Windows Mail import manager see my old Outlook 6 DBX files, let me know. It's driving me bonkers!), but by and large, it's going pretty smoothly.

And at long last, my work life and my private life can be decoupled!

So, what did YOU do this weekend for fun?

UPDATED: Bad, Jackie, bad! I forgot one very important super-squee for my critique partner, Darcy, whose manuscript Glorious is a finalist in the very prestigious 2007 Maggie Contest (Georgia Romance Writers). Yay, Darcy!

Friday, August 03, 2007

The Official Release Date...

...for Jackie Barbosa's Carnally Ever After is August 17! Cobblestone's website still says the release date is TBA, but I have it on good authority that it will actually be out two weeks from today.

I'm really excited and, yes, a little nervous about this release. It's a little like getting undressed in front of a new boyfriend you really, really like for the first time. (And since I've been with my husband for almost 19 years, I have to say that a) I haven't sufficient recent experience with this situation to be certain it's the correct metaphor and b) I would probably be even more nervous about that than I think I would be!)

To read an excerpt that will give you flavor for the story, click here. (If it doesn't work now, try again in a couple of hours. The files are in the process of being uploaded to the site and may not be there just yet!) And enjoy!

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Just Call Me Calamity Jacq!

I'm not usually motivated to post about disasters, but this is different.

You see, my husband just called me to tell me about this bridge collapse in Minneapolis: You may recall that I was in Minneapolis (or at least in St. Paul and the surrounding areas) just last month.

Obviously, it's freaky when weird stuff happens in places you've been recently, but what makes this doubly freaky is that two weeks ago, this happened in Dallas where, yes, I had been only a week or so before.

Coincidence, I ask you? I don't know, but if I were you, I think I'd hope I wasn't visiting my home town any time soon!

Mission Accomplished!

I finished the rewrite of Chapter One a day earlier than I hoped and am preparing to dive into Chapter Two. Since I am much too busy to write a scintillatingly interesting post about writing, I'll give you some writing instead.

Here's the new first page of Unbridled:
Berkshire, England – March 1839

Lady Rosalind Brighton’s first thought on seeing the man who awaited her in the drawing room was that she would marry him in a trice. The second, equally absurd, was that he’d forgot the flowers.

“I am sorry to have kept you waiting, sir,” Rosalind said from just inside the doorway. “I was on my rounds when you arrived.”

His head turned at the sound of her voice—breathier and more apologetic than she’d intended—and his eyes widened a fraction beneath black, slanted brows. As she crossed the gold Aubusson carpet, one of the few remnants of her estate’s former opulence she had not yet been forced to sell, he rose from the white and blue damask settee.

“So said your housekeeper, my lady.”

By some miracle, she neither stumbled nor gawked despite her surprise. He was Irish. Though muted, his Gaelic lilt was unmistakable. The low, vibrant tenor rolled across her skin like a sandpapery caress.

Other facts crowded her senses in rapid succession. His face and hands were tanned. His dark, wavy hair grazed the top of his white cravat, unevenly cut and a trifle too long for fashion. And though she’d thought him tall, at closer range, she realized he was not exceptionally so, but only seemed that way due to the broadness of his shoulders and trimness of his waist, both accentuated by the strained fit of his black wool coat.

Not another gentlemanly suitor, then, but a common working man in his Sunday best.

Except that there was nothing remotely common about him.

So, are you hooked?